Research ethics application: a guide for the novice researcher

Greaney, Anna-Marie, Sheehy, Agnes, Heffernan, Catrina, Murphy, Joan, Ní Mhaolrúnaigh, Siobhán, Heffernan, Elizabeth and Brown, Gary (2012) Research ethics application: a guide for the novice researcher. British Journal of Nursing, 21 (1). pp. 38-43. ISSN 09660461


The aim of this paper is to assist the novice researcher in the research ethics application process. The novice researcher in this context refers to any researcher negotiating a research ethics application for the first time. This may be a student or a more experienced registered nurse engaged in research activity. The paper applies ethical principles to the varied elements of a research ethics application form to explain the theoretical basis of the application criteria. The impetus for this paper arose following an internal audit of the decisions made by the research ethics committee of the nursing department at the Institute of Technology in Tralee, Ireland. The audit revealed the common reasons why full approval was not granted following initial review. This information prompted the development of a paper which would assist novice researchers in avoiding common errors and omissions in the research ethics application process. Despite the specific requirements of individual research ethics committees in different jurisdictions, the fundamental elements of research ethics approval remain unchanged. While the paper has local origins, its relevance holds a wider appeal. The paper takes a structured approach using the three ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice, as outlined by the Belmont Report (1979) to provide a framework for discussion. Despite the advent of other frequently used frameworks for research ethics, the principles of the Belmont report remain constant as guidance for good practice in the research ethics context. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of British Journal of Nursing is the property of MA Healthcare Limited and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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